Saturday, May 05, 2007

Nil points for Tory in PM's backyard...

I failed to get elected in the local elections this week, but at least I can take heart that 652 people thought me worth voting for - that's 652 more votes than attracted by the hapless Tory candidate who stood in Tony Blair's backyard.

Shirley Bowes failed to attract a single vote - not even her own. .

Today's Daily Mail reports that the pensioner managed to come in with an almost unprecedented zero in the New Trimdon ward in Sedgefield where Tony Blair has his constituency home.

Shirley, said to be secretary of the South Durham hunt, couldn't even vote for herself because she lives outside the ward she was standing for.

She told the Mail she only stood as a favour to a friend:

I never have had any true political ambitions but I support the Conservatives and said I'd help out.

There was no Tory candidate in the ward and when my friend, who is a councillor asked me to stand I agreed so that at leats the party was represented.

No political ambition eh?

Sounds like she'd be the ideal Tory candidate to take on Ken Livingston in the next elections for London's Mayor...?


Anonymous said...

Conservative Home are now reporting that "several people have now come forward claiming to have voted for her, and the Borough Council can't use the Scottish defence of the votes being voided by machines!"

fairdealphil said...


The Northern Echo - local morning paper in Trimdon - reports there are at least five people who claim to have voted for the Conservative candidate
who - officially - no-one voted for.

Under election law of course, the result stands as announced at the count - even if it was wrong.

I have to say there were widespread concerns at our count at Grantham last week.

Returning Officers normally bring the candidates in a ward together when there is a provisional result to inform them privately of the outcome.

There is then an opportunity for candidates to challenge and ask for a "check of the piles" or a full recount if appropriate.

Last Thursday, the Returning Officer did call the candidates together, but only to rule on "spoilt papers" one by one in front of us.

He then went straight to the stage and announced the result.

There was no opportunity to even consider a recount or check that the subtotals for each candidate - collected on approx 20 sheets of paper - actually added up correctly.

Normally, candidates see the "piles" of votes, but because each vote was for up to three candidates, this clearly was not possible.

So while the winner in Trimdon was always going to be Labour, the "result" will always be that the Conservative candidate polled nil votes.

The only way of clearing up this issue would be an expensive and unlikely election petition.